And behold, a woman who had suffered from a haemorrhage for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment; for she said to herself, ‘If I only touch his garment, I shall be made well.’” (Matthew 9:20-21).*_
In today’s first reading, Jacob, having received the blessing of the first-born son from Isaac, left Beersheba and came to Haran, Abraham’s ancestral home. That night, Jacob had a dream. He saw a ladder leading from the earth to heaven with angels ascending and descending on it. God spoke to Jacob in this dream, assuring him of divine protection and blessings.
When Jacob woke up, he took the stone on which he had rested his head and set it up as an altar for God. This was the beginning of what would become the temple of Bethel. When next you are in a church, think of Jacob’s dream and try to picture that ladder linking heaven to earth. Doing this would awaken/revive your faith.
This is why many Catholic Churches are adorned with pictures, drawings and sculptural works. Those who accuse the Catholic Church of breaking the first commandment do so out of ignorance. If such persons had seen Jacob setting up a pillar with the stone (on which he slept) and pouring oil on it, they would have accused him of idolatry.
In today’s Gospel passage, we meet two persons in very tough situations – a ruler whose daughter had just died and a woman who suffered from a haemorrhage for twelve years. Both of them dared to approach Jesus for a solution believing firmly in their hearts that Jesus was capable.
The woman believed she would be healed by touching the helm of Jesus’ garment. She touched Jesus’ clothing and received healing. This is faith at work. Many persons walk into a church and, because they feel the presence of God there, say to themselves: “If only I touch so and so, I shall be made well.” Just as there is nothing idolatrous about the woman’s action, there is nothing idolatrous about expressing one’s faith if you believe deep within your heart that you are standing before God.
The ruler knew his daughter was dead but firmly believed that Jesus had a solution for death. He invited Jesus to fix his daughter’s condition as one would ask an electrician to set a faulty electrical switch. Faith does not begin with the occurrence of a miracle. Faith makes it happen. Believe that no matter what you face, it is not beyond what God can handle.
Let us pray: Almighty ever-living God, heal me with your powerful touch. Through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen
Bible Study: Genesis 28:10-22, Ps. 91:1-4,14-15, Matthew 9:18-26).*
@Rev. Fr. Evaristus E. Abu